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Ramakanta Biswas

Sambalpur: The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to launch a massive protest over alleged flaws in the paddy procurement system in the State and gherao the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Range) here on January 21.

“Farmers, party workers and leaders from 37 legislative and five parliamentary constituencies will gherao the RDC office at Sambalpur on January 21,” informed Leader of Opposition, Pradipta Naik while addressing the party representatives’ meet at Sambalpur today.

Speaking about the objective of the protest, Naik said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned Rs 18,000 crore to Odisha this year for purchase of paddy produced by farmers at Rs 1868 per quintal. However, several discrepancies are being seen in the procurement of paddy in the State.”

“The concerned State minister had promised that criminal cases will be filed if paddy is procured below the MSP at any place. However, no such action have been taken anywhere so far,” Naik said.

Criticising the decision of the State government to procure 19 quintal of paddy per acre of land in irrigated belt and 13 quintal paddy per acre in non-irrigated belt during the current kharif season, Naik said the government has not made any provision for selling of the remaining produce by the farmers.

BJP demands include provision for procurement of entire paddy produced by farmers, withdrawal of katni-chhatni, immediate measures to procure paddy lying in mandis and complete abolition of token system.

Moreover, Naik said the government should take steps to immediately procure paddy of those whose tokens were withdrawn. Besides, the State should send the list of farmers to Centre who are eligible for Kisan Samman Nidhi he added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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